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Schedule for this lecture.

Goddard Space Flight Center Engineering Colloquium

Date: Monday, November 17, 1997

Engineers of Dreams: Great Bridge Builders and theSpanning of America

Speaker: Henry Petroski


This illustrated talk will discuss the interrelationships among some visionary engineers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the bridges of unprecedented length and slenderness that they conceived and proposed. The factors that affected bridge design and construction, and the influence of successful bridges, both positive and negative, on subsequent designs will also be discussed.


Henry Petroski is Alexander S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History at Duke University, where he also serves as Chairman of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. He has authored more than 70 journal articles and writes the engineering column in 'American Scientist'. His books include "To Engineer is Human" (which he also adapted for a BBC - television documentary), "The Pencil", "The Evolution of Useful Things", "Design Paradigms" (which was named an outstanding book of 1994 by the Association of American Publishers), "Engineers of Dreams", and "Invention by Design". His newest book, "Remaking The World", will be published in January, 1998. Dr. Petroski has held National Humanities Center & Guggenheim Fellowships. He is the recipient of honor awards from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society of Civil Engineers, as well as honorary degrees and distinguished alumnus awards from Clarkson College, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Manhattan College. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Colloquium Committee Sponsor: Barbara Scott

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